Dry Needling: A New Medical Treatment for Rehabilitation Services
Dry needling is a medical treatment that uses very thin needles without any medication (a dry needle). Dry needling is used to treat pain and dysfunction caused by myofascial trigger points (MTrPs), tension in the muscle and fascia, and neural/physiological changes in the body. Dry needling is based on a Western medical technique that involves deep palpation into muscle fibers, tendons, and ligaments and superficial palpation on the skin to locate trigger points. The trigger points are then treated with a gentle insertion of a needle into the area.
"Dry needling can be utilized for numerous musculoskeletal, neurological, acute, and chronic issues," said Jason Hutchison, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Franciscan Health Mooresville who specializes in manual therapy, which includes dry needling and joint manipulation. "Speak with your therapist regarding dry needling as an appropriate treatment option."
MTrPs can occur throughout the body in any dysfunctional joint or muscle group. MTrPs can form anywhere an injury has occurred or anywhere increased tension/stress occur. Patients may be unaware that they have MTrP. The needle allows the physical therapist to reach “deeper” than other treatment options. The dry needle technique has been shown to be as effective as cortisone injections and traditional physical therapy treatments alike.
At Franciscan Health Physical Therapy locations in central Indiana, our therapists work with each patient to develop an individual treatment plan to determine if dry needling is appropriate. Dry needling is only one part of the treatment component. Physical therapy will likely also address biomechanical muscle imbalances, postural dysfunctions, muscular flexibility limitation, strength deficits, and swollen or stiff joints. Physical therapy treatment may include joint mobilization, a carefully designed therapeutic exercise plan and advanced hands-on therapy techniques.
Hutchison, who acquired his certification for dry needling in May 2015, is one of more than 15 Franciscan Health physical therapists in Indianapolis and central Indiana who use dry needling to alleviate both chronic and acute forms of pain. Franciscan Health now has therapists trained in dry needling at all of our Central Indiana locations, including Beech Grove, Carmel, Indianapolis, Mooresville, Plainfield, and CityWay in downtown Indianapolis.